Brains, Brains, Brains

I splurged this Halloween on a brain mold.  I have been wanting one for a few years, but have never committed.  I came across a link for “5 BRAIN ACTIVITIES USING A BRAIN MOLD“.  Her blog post was called something snazzy and fun, but my own brain went “BRAIN MOLD!!”  and so I ordered one- because it’s not just for food, its for school!  I did make brain Jell-o first.  It turned out well considering I bought the wrong color Jell-o and I used half and half instead of evaporated milk. DSC04394

Then, I broke out the vinegar!  Using a little red coloring, I tinted it and put it in the brain mold, in the freezer overnight. DSC04399

WHOO-EEE the vinegar smell about knocked me over when I opened the freezer this morning.  I ran it under some warm water and it popped out nice and easy onto my plate.  Then I prepared the science lab.   2 cups of baking soda down in a roasting pan to contain the mess and a tray full of surgical equipment (AKA spoons and stuff).DSC04398  DSC04400

The brain was ready for dissection.

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Calling Doctor “The Boy” to the operating station.  He neatly covered the brain in baking soda. DSC04403 DSC04405 DSC04406

The brain did not melt terribly quickly in its blanket of baking of baking soda, so he experimented with dropping some water on the top to melt the vinegar and start the chain reaction.  Then, The Boy got bored.  Sometimes, he likes to come back to things over and over, however the icy brain was not really a keeping kind of project.  I sat down to feed Tiny Tadpole and I heard giggling and laughter and talking in the dining room.  When I walked in, a new team of brain surgeons was on the job (ALL the other Froglets were scraping and scooping and making a horrifically wonderful mess.

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One of the things I love most about homeschooling is this flexibility.  The Big Froglets had so much fun playing with an activity I had set up for the Littles.  The Littles didn’t really want to play with it.  I honestly would never have thought it would hold the interest of an 11 year old, an 8 year old, a 7 year old, and a 5 year old for 45 minutes.  But it did.  They were very impressed with their goopy melted zombie brains.  It is so nice not to be held to an idea of what is “appropriate” in an activity for the Froglets.  It also opened the door for conversations about chemical reactions and why we use buttermilk (or vinegar) in our pancakes and scones along with the baking powder and baking soda to create air bubbles (fluffiness).

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